Police hope video will catch hit and run driver

November 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Video was just released on Wednesday that police hope will help catch a hit and run driver. It is hard to see, but it shows a Santa Clara University student being mowed-down in a crosswalk. ABC7 spoke with the victim as the search continues for the person responsible.

The victim is at a hospital out of state to be closer to her family, but the victim -- who only wanted to be identified as Beth -- told ABC7 that on Sunday, November 15 around 3 p.m., she was in the crosswalk headed to the campus library when she was hit. Police do not want to release a lot of details about her injuries, except to say they are serious, but not life-threatening.

Video of the incident from the university security camera was taken from a distance. The image is grainy, but even so, what you can see is disturbing. A car hits a pedestrian in the crosswalk and then drives off.

"You can see these pedestrians in the crosswalk and there, one gets hit and topples over the vehicle and into the crosswalk," says Santa Claara Police Sgt. Ray Carreira.

At first it's hard to know exactly what you are seeing, but a flash of white flying across the hood is 21-year-old university student, Beth. She talked to ABC7 by phone from her hospital bed near her home in Bellingham, Washington.

"I remember the sound of getting hit and then after that I just remember walking up in the E.R.," says Beth.

Witnesses say the car that hit Beth was a tan or gold Honda or Toyota. After the accident, the four-door sedan had front end damage and a broken windshield.

The crosswalk at Market and Alviso is a well-known and clearly marked busy university intersection. What stuns most people is that the driver left the scene.

"I would hate to be that person on Thanksgiving and think about what I have done. They need to come forward," says Santa Clara resident Lesa Pascali.

One decision by that driver turned an unfortunate accident into something much more.

"Now since the driver has left, there were injuries in this case, we are now investigating it as a felony hit and run," says Santa Clara Police Lt. Police Cooke.

One minute Beth was three weeks from graduation, now she has serious injuries to both legs and her shoulder. She hopes anyone with information will call police.

"I don't know what type of person hits someone and keeps driving, especially when I haven't seen the video, but by all accounts it was explicit that she knew that she hit me and she just kept going," says Beth.

The heroes in this situation were the three drivers directly behind that suspect car. They all pulled over and tried to help. In fact, one of those drivers was a doctor.

Witnesses say the only description they have of the suspect is a white woman, in her 20s or 30s, with blonde curly or perhaps full hair.

LINKS:
Santa Clara Police Department: Call Investigator Kenya McElmurry at (408) 615-4764
Police press release with more information

Video of hit and run


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